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Galaxy Note 3: Takes the phablet craze one step further

Last updated on: October 08, 2013 13:39 IST

Galaxy Note 3: Takes the phablet craze one step further

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Tanima Banerjee in New Delhi

Samsung has never shied away from playing it large. Its latest venture, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is no different.

The new draw in the smartphone arena, Note 3 stays one notch up from its predecessors. It combines a plethora of improvements, combining the best from the previous versions to deliver one of the most powerful smartphones in the market today.

It packs in a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 3GB RAM, a dynamic 5.7-inch FullHD Super AMOLED display, a 13-megapixel (MP) camera (2MP at the front), an improved stylus (S-pen) and a deluge of other features in an ultra slim body to deliver a package to boast for. Let us evaluate the phone.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung

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Galaxy Note 3: Takes the phablet craze one step further

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Design

Inspired heavily from the iconic iPhone in terms of appearance, the 8.9-mm thick Galaxy Note 3 is sleek and stylish. With a 168 g plastic body, it feels really light for its massive size.

The Galaxy Note 3 sports a textured faux leather back with stitching around the edges and Samsung's generic glossy metallic rim around the body. The leather back adds to the grip while handling a smartphone of this size.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung

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Galaxy Note 3: Takes the phablet craze one step further

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Like the previous two Notes, this one comes with a stylus as well. The S Pen responds well and provides easy applicability.

Another great improvement is the new set of Air Command namely the Pen Window, S Finder, Screen Write, Scrap Booker and Action Memo.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung

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Galaxy Note 3: Takes the phablet craze one step further

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Display

The resolution has been bumped up to 1,080 by 1,920 pixels compared to the 720 by 1280-pixel display of the Note 2. With 366 pixels per inch, there's no pixelation.

Though the display is vibrant and works like a dream even under direct sunlight, the extra saturation makes the images look a little unreal when compared to the true life retina display of the iPhones.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung
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Galaxy Note 3: Takes the phablet craze one step further

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Performance

The Note 3's specifications makes it a nearly perfect next generation phone. The Snapdragon 800 processor showcases its tenacity, allowing instant app downloading with no noticeable lag.

Multitasking on the new Note is facilitated easily, owing to the 3GB of RAM. Even the most-high end games run without a hitch.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung

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Galaxy Note 3: Takes the phablet craze one step further

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Capacity and connectivity

The new Note 3 provides 32 GB or 64 GB of built-in storage space for all apps and games, depending on the model.

An additional microSD card of capacity up to 64 GB can also be installed. To ensure fast transfer of data, the Note 3 comes with an USB 3.0, which is way faster than other phones weighed down by USB 2.0.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung
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The USB 3.0 cable assists in fast battery charging. It adds about one per cent of battery life per minute till around 90 per cent of capacity.

Once fully charged, the 3,200 mAh battery easily survives two days of real world use.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung
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Software

The Note 3 runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and inherits from the same Touchwiz user interface (UI) of the previous Galaxy S3 and S4 series of smartphones.

The Touchwiz interface allows the users with a range of customisation options similar to the previous versions.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung
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This makes it an easy-to-use phone for the previous Galaxy patrons, but might dishearten the few who are looking for something completely new and out of the box.

But the multi-window feature that allows you to share the screen between two apps, is far more refined than when it first appeared.

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It includes a wider choice of implemented apps, including Facebook, Google Play Movies, Youtube and Google Hangouts, among others. All in all it gives an engrossing and customisable user interface.

Camera

The 13-megapixel camera gives all the shutterbugs a reason to rejoice. The Note 3 captures clean, sharp images, offering various features similar to the Samsung S4.

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The camera can capture video at up to 4-K ultra HD, which at 3840x2160, has four times the number of pixels as Full HD.

The camera's user interface is simple and interactive. It offers added features like Eraser Mode (to remove unwanted items from your photo) and Drama Shot (which brings together consecutive shots to give your image a vector-like sensation) spice up the experience.

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The camera, however, struggles to find focus in poor lighting, but is still better than the latest smartphone cameras.

The digital image stabilisation performs well and the sensor is capable enough to capture footage and stills which are rich in detail.

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Colour saturation is robust with healthy contrast and dynamic ranges. Though comparisons with the likes of the Nokia Lumia 1020 or Samsung Galaxy S4 might seem outrageous, it certainly does a good job for a phone that is not all and only about the camera.

Verdict

Despite a few glitches, the Galaxy Note 3 is Samsung's much-awaited answer to the intense competition in the smartphone market.

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Though the aesthetic appeal has significantly improved than the previous iterations, it still feels slightly overpriced in comparison with the iPhones and HTCs.

But if one can ignore that, the Galaxy Note 3 nearly hits all the right notes for smartphone lovers.

  • Pros: Light in weight, long battery life, HD display
  • Cons: Over-priced, bulky and needs both hands while operating

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 specifications

Screen: 5.7-inch full HD Super AMOLED

Processor: 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800

RAM: 3GB of RAM

Storage: 32/64GB plus microSD slot supporting up to 64GB cards

Operating system:  Android 4.3 with Samsung TouchWiz

Camera: 13-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera

Connectivity: LTE, Wi-Fi (n/ac), NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 with BLE, IR and GPS

Dimensions: 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm

Weight: 168g

Price: Rs 50,650


Photographs: Courtesy, Samsung

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